Procrastination – part 1

Before starting the self-publishing journey, we must first write that book.

I was watching a webinar this week about writing. The question was asked to the guest writer:

What’s the number one piece of advice you can give to anyone wanting to write a book?

His reply was simple – it was one word – START!

This got me thinking about procrastination, the writer’s enemy. One of my favourite sayings is – the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

What is procrastination?

Procrastination is simply the act of putting off doing something. Leaving it for another day. But imagine if you had started writing that book twenty years ago, even five years ago, even last month – how far would be now?

Why do people procrastinate?

Here are six reasons why people procrastinate and my thoughts about how you can overcome each.

  1. Perfectionism. The perfectionist will spend time worrying they are not a good writer, or their idea isn’t good enough. What if someone doesn’t like it? Someone has already written about the subject I’ve written about.

We are all unique with our unique ideas. Yes, similar stories have been written before, but not by you. You have a viewpoint that no one has. You have just as much right to write a book as anyone.

  1. I’ve never written a book. I don’t know how to go about it. Fear of the unknown.

There are many resources available to help you plan your book, whether they be online, in your book shop or via a mentor. A top tip is to make voice notes as you go and find a good transcribing app.

  1. I’ll do it later.

The classic procrastinator catch-phrase. If you had started a month, two months ago, a year ago, how far would be along with your project?

  1. Doing other things – they’re easier / lack of motivation / it’s going to be hard

You get a sense of satisfaction from filling the dishwasher or walking the dog because they’re easier than writing a book. Writing a book can often be a process of many months. You’re going to be in this for the long term. Break your writing up into segments, whether it be the plot, a chapter, a scene within a chapter. Celebrate the little achievements, completing a chapter, writing a character, a good scene, developing your plot, writing 1000 words, and writing more words than you did yesterday. A walk of 1000 miles starts with one step.

  1. How do I start?

There are 2 main theories for writing a book. People who sit down and start writing and people who plan their story in thorough detail before writing. Personally, I am somewhere in the middle. Writing the plot, and deciding on a general storyline is progress, even if you don’t actually write any words for your book.

  1. Distractions

Distractions are the worst enemy while writing. Who posted something on Facebook, how’s my sports team doing, I haven’t phoned Aunty Joan in a while, oh there’s a WhatsApp. All of these things will stop you from writing. Turn your phone off, lock the door, and let your loved ones know you’re busy for an hour. Limit your distractions.

Stop procrastinating, start writing and contact us today to start your self-publishing journey.